Carleton has a number of initiatives and student organizations to ensure that all aspects of our food systems are ethical and sustainable. Each year, we work with the Real Food Alliance to analyze the amount of our food sourced from conventional sources, versus ‘real food’ categories, some of which comes from our student-run organic farm. We also run a chapter of the Food Recovery Network, where students recover uneaten food from the dining halls every day to donate to local food shelves.

Tomatoes from the Carleton Student Organic Farm
Tomatoes from the Carleton Student Organic Farm

Both environmental justice and food justice have a place-based focus; are health related; and focus on corporate dominance and system-related issues, the empowerment of community members and the development of sustainable and livable communities. Environmental justice and food justice both seek to alter power relations at the root of the social and ecological problems.

Elizabeth Hoover, in The Carletonian, Feb 2020

Real Food Calculator

As defined by the Real Food Challenge, real food can be community-based, ecologically sound, humanely raised, and/or fairly procured. RFC sets the guidelines for what qualifies food into one or more of these categories.

The Real Food Calculator is a tool used by a team of students representing the Sustainability Office, Center for Community and Civic Engagement, and Bon Appétit to determine how much real food Carleton purchases, and to look into ways to shift purchasing toward real food.

Food Recovery Network

The Food Recovery Network is a CCCE program bringing together student volunteers, Bon Appétit, and local Rice County organizations. By donating uneaten food from dining halls after meals, the program decreases food waste on campus while simultaneously addressing hunger within the local community. Since its founding in January 2014, the Food Recovery Network has donated over 10,000 lbs of food to its end user.

Student Organic Farm

The Carleton Farm, a student-run 1.5 acre organic farm, strives to grow food in sustainable and experimental ways. It boasts drip irrigation and a hoop house, among other innovations. The produce is sold to our campus dining halls and the profits pay summer farm interns. The project is in partnership with the Center for Community and Civic Engagement.

Dining Services / Bon Appétit

The Sustainability Office has a long-standing relationship with Bon Appétit. Their long list of sustainability commitments makes them a great partner in achieving our goals and providing delicious, local foods in the dining halls.